Cell Phones

Getting Palm handset from Verizon to unlocked in Canada

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 18th, 2019 11:11 am
[OP]
Member
Dec 4, 2017
425 posts
159 upvotes

Getting Palm handset from Verizon to unlocked in Canada

What's your favourite strategy for getting Verizon Android phones to fully work on a Canadian carrier? I want to get the new Palm, but I don't know what gotchas may be encountered. I just need mainstream voice/text/LTE functionality on Koodo -- no WiFi calling or other special applications that require carrier cooperation.
22 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2014
1635 posts
800 upvotes
Calgary
This won't work. It's designed as a supplementary phone and on Verizon it actually shares your number / data plan with your main line. GSMarena even says it won't work unless paired with another phone.

https://m.gsmarena.com/palm_palm-9290.php
[OP]
Member
Dec 4, 2017
425 posts
159 upvotes
GSMArena is one of several sites to claim that it's mandatory to also be subscribed to a main Verizon line. However, it also quotes a price in Euros, so let's not take it as too authoritative. :-)

The only official material that I could find from Verizon simply says that the companion service is how it works. I'm sure that they want people to think that this is how it has to work, just like Fido and Koodo would prefer that people only use their tablet data plans in tablets and not phones. That doesn't mean that Verizon has locked the Palm down so much that it won't work in some other circumstance.

I want to know people's recent experience with getting Verizon phones unlocked and operational on non-Verizon networks, including Canadian ones. I know that Verizon does have a history of blocking service that they didn't intend, but that doesn't make it so right now for all handsets. If I'm the first person to try one in Canada, I'll make a reasonable gamble on ending up with a paperweight. I just want to know the lay of the land before I try.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
31159 posts
5394 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Verizon still uses CDMA technology on their network

The SIM is there for international travelling and is unlocked.
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2014
1635 posts
800 upvotes
Calgary
Gee wrote: Verizon still uses CDMA technology on their network

The SIM is there for international travelling and is unlocked.
While they do use CDMA, Verizon also has an LTE network and you do get a Verizon SIM card now too.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
31159 posts
5394 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Devhux wrote: While they do use CDMA, Verizon also has an LTE network and you do get a Verizon SIM card now too.
I received a Verizon SIM when I got my phone there two years ago but the SIM didn’t do anything.
[OP]
Member
Dec 4, 2017
425 posts
159 upvotes
batcave wrote: Yes. According to this by Verizon also,

https://www.verizon.com/about/consumer- ... ing-policy
Thanks for the reference. Unfortunately, it begs even more questions! From the wording, it could be difficult to get an unlocked phone from Verizon without first subscribing to Verizon service.

Combined with the fact that Verizon is locking phones prior to sale as some Canadian carriers are doing as an alleged security precaution, and it appears that many phones from Verizon would have to be unlocked by a 3rd party after the fact, if one can even acquire a postpaid phone from them, when not subscribing.

Given that the Palm is a new product line, it's not clear that 3rd party unlocks will be reliably available right away. So I'm skeptical about easy availability and I might have to wait for a grey market to appear instead of driving to the USA and buying one myself right away.
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2014
1635 posts
800 upvotes
Calgary
GSMArena also says this phone uses just an eSIM so Bell (and maybe Telus) are the only ones that this may work with for now.
Deal Addict
Aug 18, 2018
1786 posts
1359 upvotes
Bay Area
Devhux wrote: While they do use CDMA, Verizon also has an LTE network and you do get a Verizon SIM card now too.
Verizon's LTE network is GSM, but they use CDMA for 3G. This is why Verizon phones can still work on GSM only networks like T-Mo and AT&T at the cost of reduced signal strength due to missing bands. (I know because I had a Verizon branded S7 that I later used on T-Mo for a few months. Got sick of the signal issues so flashed the T-Mo firmware and all is good now)
IanBrantford wrote: Thanks for the reference. Unfortunately, it begs even more questions! From the wording, it could be difficult to get an unlocked phone from Verizon without first subscribing to Verizon service.

Combined with the fact that Verizon is locking phones prior to sale as some Canadian carriers are doing as an alleged security precaution, and it appears that many phones from Verizon would have to be unlocked by a 3rd party after the fact, if one can even acquire a postpaid phone from them, when not subscribing.

Given that the Palm is a new product line, it's not clear that 3rd party unlocks will be reliably available right away. So I'm skeptical about easy availability and I might have to wait for a grey market to appear instead of driving to the USA and buying one myself right away.
Apparently the whole "locking phones before sale" thing is a mistake, apparently.

Don't know how things are now, but I bought my Verizon S7 BNIB off of eBay and had no problems using other carriers from the get go.
[OP]
Member
Dec 4, 2017
425 posts
159 upvotes
arkane wrote: Apparently the whole "locking phones before sale" thing is a mistake, apparently.
Haha! Oh, mercy. Verizon doesn't even have their own policy straight. No wonder I can't get a good answer. I'm inclined to be pessimistic.
Don't know how things are now, but I bought my Verizon S7 BNIB off of eBay and had no problems using other carriers from the get go.
That's a grey market solution that I'll use if I have to, but I'd rather just buy directly if I have some confidence in what's going to happen. I don't know how your seller originally got the S7, and from the various published policies, Verizon reeeeally doesn't want to let phones go to non-subscribers.

So, I'm still in limbo.
[OP]
Member
Dec 4, 2017
425 posts
159 upvotes
Devhux wrote: GSMArena also says this phone uses just an eSIM so Bell (and maybe Telus) are the only ones that this may work with for now.
Interesting. I use PC Mobile Prepaid (which is run by Bell) as my primary line. I still have a Koodo and Fido lines for their data. Challenges, challenges.
Deal Addict
Aug 18, 2018
1786 posts
1359 upvotes
Bay Area
IanBrantford wrote: That's a grey market solution that I'll use if I have to, but I'd rather just buy directly if I have some confidence in what's going to happen. I don't know how your seller originally got the S7, and from the various published policies, Verizon reeeeally doesn't want to let phones go to non-subscribers.

So, I'm still in limbo.
No it's wasn't a grey market phone. In the old days, there were 100% legitimate ways to buy a Verizon phone without having to sign up for their overpriced plans. My eBay seller was most likely a bulk distributor judging by the amount of sales he's done. I bought mine after the S8 was released, so he was likely trying to clear out remaining inventory.

I suspect the reason Verizon is clamping down now is because eventually people caught on that they ironically had the most lax unlock policy (phone factory unlocked essentially), If you had a little patience, you could get some massive discounts on eBay by buying these "Verizon unlocked" phones and then flashing the appropriate firmware (if applicable) to use with other carriers.
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2014
1635 posts
800 upvotes
Calgary
IanBrantford wrote: Interesting. I use PC Mobile Prepaid (which is run by Bell) as my primary line. I still have a Koodo and Fido lines for their data. Challenges, challenges.
Honestly, with the hoops that will probably be required (getting the phone to work on its own when it's not designed to, being on a provider that supports eSIM universally (which PC Mobile definitely won't for now), it's probably not worth spending $400+ to try.

Vodaphone in the UK will be selling this, and this article also mentions its a device that shares your main phone's number.

https://www.trustedreviews.com/news/pal ... te-3610801

I don't know why you're hesitant to believe me, but when everything that's been reported about this device says it's a companion phone that's designed to work with your existing handset, then that's probably how it's meant to be (and won't function on its own). Given that this is going to be a niche device (to put it mildly), developer support will be pretty much nil, so good luck finding a hack to do what you're willing to waste $400 to try and do.

Top